Max Verstappen on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix, with Lando Norris third.
After what he dubbed “bad time usage” by Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton qualified only 18th for Saturday’s short race at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull claimed pole, like he did on Friday for the major grand prix, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and Lando Norris of McLaren.
Nico Hulkenberg of Haas finished fourth, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.
During the first session, Hamilton also became entangled with Verstappen.
After his best lap time – which would have easily sent him into the second session – was removed for exceeding track limitations, the seven-time champion was trying to establish a distance to start his final lap behind Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.
Hamilton was waiting in Turn 10 behind Magnussen as Verstappen came up behind him trying to finish a lap.
Verstappen then overtook Hamilton down the pit straight and appeared to obstruct him into Turn One at the start of Hamilton’s final flying lap, which was not fast enough to advance out of the first session.
“It’s just timing,” Hamilton explained. That’s not correct. In any case, the sprint race is unimportant. Just have some fun from behind. That’s all there is to it. “I have no strong feelings about it.”
On a poor day for Mercedes, Hamilton’s teammate George Russell, who did make it past the first practice, will start 15th because hydraulic problems necessitated a steering column adjustment.
At the front, Perez saved his face after qualifying 15th for the grand prix due to a series of track rules violations on Friday by making it an all-Red Bull front row for the sprint, which begins at 15:30 UK time.
However, Perez was 0.493 seconds slower than Verstappen, which is more than the difference between Perez and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine in ninth place.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso will start seventh behind the Ferraris, ahead of teammate Lance Stroll, Ocon, and Magnussen.
In the first session, Sainz impressed. He was in the pits for the majority of the race due to a brake-by-wire issue, but he was able to rejoin in time for only one flying lap, which he completed quickest of all.
Hulkenberg and Leclerc are both under investigation by stewards, so the order could change.
Hulkenberg’s penalty comes for a reckless pit exit in which he ran over his own tyre, throwing the car into the air.
Leclerc is being investigated for obstructing Oscar Piastri of McLaren.
It is unclear whether the Verstappen-Hamilton incident will be examined; there has been no mention of it thus far.